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Bird flu victim dies in Chinese hospital


A bus driver in southern China's Guangdong province has died of bird flu, a week after being admitted to hospital with a fever.

The 39-year-old man living in Shenzhen, just across the border from Hong Kong, developed symptoms on 21 December and was admitted to a hospital four days later because of severe pneumonia, the official Xinhua news agency reported. He died in the early afternoon on Saturday of multiple organ failure, having tested positive for H5N1.

About 10 days ago Hong Kong culled 17,000 chickens at a wholesale poultry market and suspended all imports of live chickens from mainland China for 21 days after a dead chicken there tested positive for the H5N1 virus.

The virus normally affects birds but can jump to people. The H5N1 strain is highly pathogenic, kills most species of birds and up to 60 per cent of the people it infects.